Branding & Web
Wrendale Designs Country Kitchen range

POP working with Wrendale Designs

POP has been commissioned to design and build the new international e-commerce website for Wrendale Designs, the company founded by artist Hannah Dale. Founded in 2012, Wrendale Designs has enjoyed meteoric growth, created a range by Royal Worcester and has most recently won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

The website will be created using Adobe Magento 2 and will be integrated with Wrendale Design’s custom stock management system

The project to create the new Wrendale Designs website includes the creation of 6 different storefronts: retail and trade storefronts for 3 separate international regions and is both multi-currency and multi-lingual. The website will be created using Adobe Magento 2 and will be integrated with Wrendale Design’s custom stock management system, itself managing multiple stock locations in Europe and the US.

POP will also be helping to rationalise and recategorise the product range that runs to approximately 5,000 SKUs to create the most user-friendly way of navigating such a large range and give a great user experience to retail customers buying small numbers of items, trade customers buying and bulk and for the content management team themselves.

Eco friendly web hosting - For The World

100% carbon neutral web hosting

Though we’re a small business, we still have a responsibility to reduce our environmental impact where possible. One area we can do this is by migrating to a more eco-friendly web hosting set-up, so we are now using 100% carbon neutral data centres to host our websites and email for both ourselves and our clients.

Data centres worldwide are expected to generate 533 million tonnes of CO2 by 2020

At first glance, this might seem a small change, however, according to the Carbon Trust, data centres worldwide are expected to generate 533 million tonnes of CO2 by 2020, that’s roughly the equivalent of airline industry! So their impact is huge. You can rest assured though, if you host with POP, you won’t be contributing to this figure.

Learn more about what we do and who we do it for

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Number 1

Three ‘R’s of hiring a creative agency

Annabel Gilbert, Partner from Impact Marketing, guides you through selecting a creative agency in the first of our series of guest blog posts from the world of design and marketing.

If you’re ready to embark on a new design project whether it’s new packaging, a logo re-design or a complete brand overhaul, you will be looking for a creative agency and there are a plethora of agencies out there to choose from, but which one? Here are 3 tips to help you find ‘the one’:

Research

Whether you have been contacted directly by an agency touting for your business, or you’re starting the process of looking for one yourself, do your research! Take a look at their website and client list and check you like what you see. Ask them if they have done work for clients in your industry or aimed at your target market. If they have already come up with design you like for other clients, the chances are they will for you too.

Recommendation

If a creative agency has received testimonials from happy clients you’ll find them on their website, on Twitter or Facebook. It’s also worth contacting their clients directly to find out if they were happy with the work they received. Talk to business associates and friends about agencies they have worked with and ask for their honest opinions, you’ll get some fantastic information that will help you narrow down your shortlist.

Rapport

Finally, go with your instinct on this – if you find them easy to talk to, enthusiastic and receptive to your questions, it’s a pretty good start. Any successful creative outcome is reliant on good communication between both parties, so before you make your decision ask for what the marketing world call a ‘chemistry meeting’, that’s an informal chat to the rest of us!

Any successful creative outcome is reliant on good communication between both parties

Use it as an opportunity to ask questions about how they work and be upfront about what you’re looking for in return; mention your timescales, budget, goals etc and use it as an opportunity to see if you can work with them. It goes without saying that you should like what you hear, but even if they seem to be saying all the right things, if it feels awkward or uncomfortable at this stage it doesn’t bode well for the future.

If you’ve found the right creative agency for your business the design process should be an enjoyable one, have confidence in your decision and get started!

Check out our projects

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Two way sign

How to rebrand successfully

Making changes to your brand can be a risky business. Just look what happened when Coke attempted their image change in 1985, cue u-turn, and Royal Mail attempted to dress up in a sexier outfit and call themselves ‘Consignia’? – The result was that the attempt was *ahem* consigned to the cutting room floor. So why did these rebrands fail and what do you have to do to ensure that your rebrand is a success? 

Do your research and create a rationale for your rebrand

One of the most important things you have to do when deciding whether or not to rebrand is to do your research. A re-brand should not be a kneejerk reaction to a competitor’s move (i.e. Coke’s 1985 disaster when they panicked about the Pepsi challenge) or an isolated internal decision that has not sought the opinion of all stakeholder groups (Royal Mail – Consignia case).

Don’t forget your existing customers. Who are they? What do they like about you? What do they feel you are doing well? What do they think you need to improve upon?

You must look at the marketplace you are operating in, where are you in terms of the competition? Where do you want to recruit new customers, how many are there, who are they, what do they want? Why do they want your product and service, what can you offer that others don’t? Really get to know them and what makes them tick.

Don’t forget your existing customers. Who are they? What do they like about you? What do they feel you are doing well? What do they think you need to improve upon?

If you’re introducing a new product or service what is the market potential? Are you being realistic about what it can do for your company as a whole

This will ensure that you are looking outwards and will help you to build a true picture of what you look like now and what you want to achieve, and may well throw up some surprises!

Shape your new brand

Once you have carried out your research and really understand the problems a rebrand needs to solve you can begin to shape what your new brand should do for and say to customers.

  • What characteristics or qualities do we want people to think of when they hear our name?
  • How do we want our customer to feel when they use our product/service?
  • Do our products/services live up to these ideas? If not, make changes at product/service level before you do anything else.
  • What do you want to retain from your existing brand-where is the real ‘heritage’, and where do we need to build new values and promises.

Develop your internal ambassadors

Do not even attempt to roll out a new brand without first training every staff member in the new brand. Why are you carrying out the rebrand? What does it mean? What changes do you want your staff members to make to ensure that their behaviour is ‘on brand’? If necessary incentivise these behaviours to make sure there is a longevity beyond the first 3 months after its launch. Get key influencers involved in the rebrand process- i.e. looking at ways they can make the roles that they carry out ‘on brand’. Get them bought into the new brand and involved in the process.

Be relentless in communicating your rebranding efforts

Once you launch your new brand be bold and relentless in its communication. Don’t water it down or ‘forget’ to use it. Make sure that all your internal and external touch points have been considered and changed to fit in with the new brand.

Expect a ‘response’ and be brave!

Hopefully, your new brand will be well received and will quickly help you to achieve your business goals. However, you will always have detractors who ’ liked it better before’ or to whom ‘it doesn’t make sense’. People fear change but be brave! You have done your research and you have rational, business-led decisions for conducting the rebrand. Give it time and let your bottom line do the talking!

Check out these examples of our branding and rebranding work.

Photo by Pablo García Saldaña on Unsplash

Feet and arrows

Which CMS to choose and why

If you are commissioning a new website, you will need to choose which CMS (Content Management System) to use and are likely to be recommended one by your developer. It is worth discussing the options at this stage thouroughly though; the CMS will be a very significant part of the infrastructure of your website, so making the wrong choice can be costly.

Part of what we do at POP is maintaining websites that we didn’t build originally or making them work more effectively, so naturally, we have seen clients with systems that are a bad fit for what they are trying to achieve.

Here are some considerations when choosing your Content Management System:

Who else supports the Content Management System?

Some systems are high-quality, widely-supported and free (eg. Expression Engine, Magento and WordPress) or carry a licence or subscription fee (Craft, Shopify). However, some are less-well supported by the developer community and/or are lower-quality (CS Cart, Perch, Open Cart, Drupal, Joomla!).

A low level of support can mean difficulties expanding the functionality of your website in the future, or it being expensive to do so.

A low level of support can mean difficulties expanding the functionality of your website in the future, or it being expensive to do so. It could also mean a frustrating content management experience and limited options if you want to part ways with your current developer.

How individual are your needs really?

Are your needs really that individual? If so, by all means invest heavily in the bespoke system that your developer is going to create around your specific needs, but also realise that you may now be tied to that developer through thick and thin and the ongoing support costs may also be significant.

Will the CMS still be a good choice in a year or two?

Some of the entry-level systems such as Squarespace and Shopify can be a great way to get online or start selling quickly and cheaply, but are you able to scale your website up alongside the demands of your business? Do you have the flexibility to configure the architecture of your website for SEO? They may be a great first step, but will restrictions make them a false economy?

Conclusion

Before committing to CMS, ask yourself how long you expect the website to last and what you might want to do during that period in terms of expanding its functionality.

If you are having a bespoke system built (the actual Content Management System, not just design and templates), is the cost necessary and will it be technically capable of keeping pace with your requirements?

Also, consider how long you expect the relationship with your developer to last once the honeymoon period and launch is over – do you have the flexibility to change if you want to? Will another developer or agency be able to support the website?

Head over to our projects for examples of CMS-driven websites.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Stop

Adobe Magento v.1 end of life June 2020

If you have an e-commerce site that uses Adobe Magento v.1, or you know someone that does, the time has come to plan for the move to Magento v.2.

Magento v.1 will receive only security patches (no quality updates) until June 2020 and then support will end. Most Magento sites are large, complex, highly-functional stores – such as our friends at Northcore Europe, so starting to implement a changeover strategy now will ensure the move can be made in a planned, structured way that maximises business continuity.

It should also be noted that there are non-PCI DSS compliance issues related to unsupported software

It should also be noted that there are non-PCI DSS compliance issues related to unsupported software and this could potentially leave your business exposed should there be a dat breach or fraudulent activity.

POP are experienced at developing for Magento 2, from more straight-forward e-commerce projects, to large multi-store front, multi-currency websites, so if you or someone you know would like to know more about moving to Magento v.2 or to Adobe Magento from another e-commerce platform, please drop us an email and we will be happy to help.

Further reading

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

cake

POP celebrates 11 years in business

This December POP officially turned 11-years old, launching the same year as the first iPhone, the year young people (questionably) wore scarves with T-shirts and the year Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II pipped Queen Victoria to become the oldest ever monarch.

Many things have changed since 2007, however, the one thing we are always grateful for is the trust and support of our clients and suppliers; so a sincere thank you, we hope to still be working together in another 11 years.

As Massimo Vignelli said: “If you do it right, it will last forever”.

In the constantly evolving, sometimes faddish world of design, we are proud of the fact that the work above are still looks great today, despite some of it being a decade old.

We attribute the longevity of our work to our thorough approach and our aim to create work that is timeless, especially when it comes to identity. As Massimo Vignelli said: “If you do it right, it will last forever”.

What else happened in 2007? Here’s a few of the key events:

  • Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone, saving us all from a future of dull PDAs with little pointy sticks
  • Author J. K. Rowling finished the 7th and final Harry Potter novel, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’, in room 552 of the Bamoral Hotel, Edinburgh
  • Nancy Pelosi was elected as the first female Speaker of the House in US history
  • Bulgaria and Romania officially joined the European Union
  • Blogging website Tumblr was founded by David Karp in New York
  • Coen brothers film ‘No Country for Old Men’ premiered at the Cannes Film Festival
  • Actress Helen Mirren won a Golden Globe for her role in The Queen
  • Veteran singer Rod Stewart married Penny Lancaster
  • Rihanna released her hit single ‘Umbrella’, it stayed for 7 weeks at No.1 on US Billboard Hot 100
  • Robbie Power riding Silver Birch won the 160th Grand National
  • Nicolas Sarkozy became the 23rd President of France
  • Cutty Sark, the last surviving tea clipper, was badly damaged by fire
  • Smoking was banned from public places in the UK
  • The first large scale exhibition of seminal Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s work in Mexico opened on the 100th anniversary of her birth
  • Gordon Brown became UK Prime Minister
  • The hashtag was invented and first used in a tweet by US product designer Chris Messina as a way of grouping information about a particular topic
  • AOL, once the largest internet service provider in the US, officially announced plans to refocus the company as an advertising business
  • Jason Lewis completed the first human-powered circumnavigation of the globe

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash